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A Guide to BeOS System Objects


Debug Server Icon

The Debug Server Icon
Location in the BeOS: /beos/system/servers/debug_server

The Debug Server is a useful diagnostic tool for developers.


Despite the somewhat enigmatic appearance of its icon, the function The Debug Server is actually very straightforward:

  1. When an application crashes, it allows the user of an application to gather more information about the nature of the crash, and then to fully quit out of it.

  2. Not surprisingly, this makes it a helpful diagnostic tool for developers.

Let's say you're using your favorite -- but slightly buggy -- BeOS application, "BeFlakey." When things take a turn for the worst and BeFlakey inevitably crashes, the Kernel makes a call to the Debug Server, which, then in turn pops up the familiar crash dialog box:

        The application:


        has encountered an error which prevents 
        it from continuing. The BeOS will terminate
        the application and clean up.

The dialog box presents you with the option either to gather more details or, by hitting the "OK" button, to permit the BeOS to gracefully quit the troublesome application.

Since you are a big BeFlakey fan, you're likely to opt for more details, in which case you are presented with an additional dialog box with some information about the nature of the crash. From here you can scribble down the information that the Debug Server gives you and email it to BeFlakey's author, go directly into the Debugger yourself, or let the BeOS quit the application.

The Debug Server also serves as a diagnostic tool for developers. When writing an application, a programmer can insert a command at any point in the code that will force the Debugger to come up and examine specified variables. In this way they can determine if variables are being passed correctly, and if they're not, where in the code things are breaking down. Slightly more elevated than print f!

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